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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 20, 2014 8:30pm-10:01pm EST

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reduce the cost significantly in 36 states. but in my separate statement, i pointed out the order adopted was on a shaking legal surface. >> we appreciate you coming to us and spending a half on on the "the communicators" with us. monty taylor, thank you as well. >> thank you. >> thank you both. >> c-span created in 1979 and brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> gary young is next and he examines the i have a dream speech delivered on august 28th, 1963. this is about an hour and a
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half. >> good evening. tha thanks so much for coming. we have a number of thank you's. executive deep, nation institute, the guardian and others worked to make it possible. we obviously have a special thank you to watching and who came out tonight. it is being live streamed and taped for book tv and free speech television. so i would ask everybody to check cell phones to make sure it is off. and just so you know it is being filmed. we will take questions and pass around note cards and reading them from up here so they can be part of the live stream and
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booktv. there is going to be a book signing afterwards as well. hey market books has a table d gary is going to be signing. i went to washington, d.c. this weekend and had a couple extra hours. i went to see the king memorial. how many people have seen it? it is exceedingly depressing. the original plans for the monument included plans to honor other martyrs but they were scrapped. king towers over us. 14 quotes on the equal. and not one uses the word racism, seg regration, apartheid or racial injustice. there are cross stitches of dates completely out of context
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of the movements and mobilizations in which king spoke them. the monument was made in china to save mun money. the man who risked his life and wept to jail 30 times, quick to point out the racist behavior in the north and south. who wrote from jail the white moderate was the biggest prap problem. that man is honored with a memorial that refuses to speak the problems of racism. it is invoked and disstorted. both of the speakers write to help us make sense of these
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paradoxes. it is used to imperil the task of social justice and cover up at times the continuing scourge of materialism and racism. and the vision we can gain from the fuller and rich history will help us see and work for justice in our time. mychal smith is a bloggler and free-lance writer and his work appears in the guardian and huffington post to name a few. gary young is an author at the guardian and a write for the nation. he has written four books and
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his 4th one, "the speech: the story behind dr. martin luther king jr.'s dream" is why we are here as gary gives us the history of had march on washington and reflected on the current politics. i am turn it over to gary, mychal smith, and then we will have conversations up here and open it up. >> thanks very much to coming. for those who have never seen me before, i am gary young. for those who have seen me before, i am gary young in a suit because this isn't a particular familiar sight unless you see me at a wedding or funeral. the book is called the "the speech: the story behind dr. martin luther king jr.'s dream". it is about king's famous speech on the march of washington. it is left there as an idea that you have a great man and a great
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talk. but king couldn't do that on his own. the speech and march came from somewhere. i want to start by giving context to that text. in the absence of that there would have been no march or speech. i will start with the people's names we don't know but paid for the speech in the range of ways. i will begin with franklin mccain. he was a 17-year-old in north carolina who made his stance by taking to seat in 1960 in downtown. mccain said up until that time as a young man in north carolina he felt his life was worthless and his parent lied to him with
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the great american lie of he can be anything he wants. he knew it wasn't true as a 17-year-old black man. a different story i was doing later, i interviewed a guy called beauford who said he never new it wasn't illegal kill a back person. and we can back to mccain and he said he was angry at his parents for the lie. so him and friends sat up january 31 talking about how
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everybody failed them before they talked themselves into the action they took the follow day. not knowing when they showed up in greensville if the others were there. the wiretappings -- the worst thing that could happen was the klan could kill us. i felt nothing mattered. you cannot touch me. you cannot hurt me. there is no other experience like it. not even the birth of my first child. a white police officer attempted to stop others from marching.
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a reporter asked one of them their age and she said six as she climbed into the paddy wagon. and a fellow actress was being beaten in jail -- can you say yes, sir, nigger, the police asked. say it then. i don't know you well enough. and then you heard her head hit the floor. it was written that all stories start with the misery and suffering of the people. but they should start with the psycho logical affects. man is rid of fear and feels free. the period proceeding the speech
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was one such chapter. there were fears of anti people. but the number who were prepared to commit them reach ad critical mass. in may of '63 the papers covered more stories on the subject than they had in years in two months. such conditions made the march on washington possible. and king's speech possible. this context was global. two days after mccain made the protest, the british prime minister addressed cape town with a warning: the wind of change is blowing through the country and whether we like it or not, the growth of national consciousness is a political fact. some, including the audience, didn't like it at all.
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but as the decade wore on the wind became a gale. in the three years between the mccain event and the march, countries became independent. internationally, the longer america practiced legal separating people, the more they were looked down upon. king spoke in harhamb and was
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heckled by people shouting we want malcolm. they invited daily to give remarks and he is heckled from the floor. when their leaders go to speak to kennedy about holding the march, kennedy says to them, we have legislation that is currently going through congress. we would rather have new laws than have the negros on the street. and the person who cordinated the march said they were already in the streets. that is the mood. the patient and ability to withstand the clubs and hoses that confine so strong they can knock the bark off the tree
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firing at children and dogs has become too much. so african-americans who were fighting back start to resist. in birmingham they respond to the bombings of the klan. and there is a fear that black people were resisting and would meet like with like. that is the mood that creates the necessity for a march which is called at the beginning of the year but very few people wanted it. the polls showed most white americans didn't want it and kennedy didn't. it is radical for the youth and too radical for leadership. but by the time it happens there is a sense of if they don't do this, what are they going to do to channel the frustration.
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so the march happens. primarily, the state says there is going to be violence. and most of the violence from the south comes from the white people not the african-americans. but the fears of violence so it is literally police and military operation. it is called operation still. a thousands troops in washington, d.c. deployed. 6,000 police working. all leave canceled. baseball game canceled. alcohol sales are made illegal. and on the mike king speaks from there is a kill speech that the justice department put in. if anyone calls for interaction from the stage they will flip
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the switch and play jackson singing he has the whole world in his hands. that is their response. so it is into that atmosphere that king plans his address. he gave around 350 speeches that year. that is about a speech a day if you take time off holidays. and he is an african-american baptist preach and he drops the sermon but writes in response to how the audience is taking to what he is saying. he has a number of arsenal and series of weapons he can use rhetorical weapons. but the difference is this speech, unlike other speeches, is going to be teon television.
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if you were in a black church, you heard king speech before. but if you were not, this was the way to meet him. kennedy never heard him and at the end he turn today an aid in the oval office and says damn he is good. they want something on par with gettysbuerg. one of his aid sai don't do the eye of the dream. you used it many times before. and king did. he first recorded it in '62 and probably used in '61. used in june at a rally in detroit. and at a fundraiser for black
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insurance agents in chicago it was used a week earlier. so this wasn't the first time. and king seeks council and has input. when he goes to bed the morning of the march, i have a dream, he is not in the text of the speech that we know. according to clarence jones, his lawyer and speech writer, it wasn't in king's mind to do that the next day. next day, there is a series of meeting with congress. a funny moment at the beginning of the day where they are meeting congress and the march started without them. and the ex-gay and communist in
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the organizer of the march and he runs out of congress and sees the march leaving and says we are supposed to be leaving them. they are blocked by the traffic when they try to jump in their car and catch up. so they jump out of the limos and run to catch up with the march. if you look at pictures of the leaders of the march in a fred flinstone version they clear people out of the way so it looks like they are at the fropt front of the march but they in the middle. if you look at what king is left with on the podium when he finishes speaking it is full of doodles and scrolls. it was a hot day. 87 at noon. and king is the 16th on an
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agenda of 18. he is the 10th speaker. there has been the anthem and the prayer and a range of number of singers including jackson, bob dylan and a range of others sang. and he takes to the podium about 2:30. and according to the clarence jones who drafted much of the text king is closer to this text than he would regularly keep. those who wrote speeches for king said they were always king's speeches, but you would set up the four walls and king like a beautiful interior designer would come make it his own. and he speaks faithfully to the
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main text. if you listen to the speech, and i would advice you, it is the most poplar and least well-known speech i heard of. my brother said i love the speech. that is a great speech. the thing about being at the mountain top was great. and he is winding up saying go back and know the situation well be resolved. jackson is behind him who is a close and special friend. when king was on the road, he would call jackson for what they termed gospel therapy. he would call and ask her to sing to him when he was down. he is winding down. go back to your homes and
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ghettos knowing the situation will be resolved. she is shouting telling him about the dream, mom. she had heard him deliver the section in june in detroit. king continues let us not wallow in the valley of disspair. and then king changes from electric and preacher. and king says for those we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, i still have a dream. at which point walker said oh,
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shit, he is doing the dream. so that is how we got there. what is interesting is when you ask people who were there at the time and knew king well, they will tell you of all of the speeches he made, this wasn't one they thought he would be talking about in 50 years time. it was a great speech. but many have different speeches they thought were better. great speeches is what king did. so i spend a fair amount of time in the book looking at why that is. and i want to suggest two things here. the first is that there is something for everybody in this speech. if you are not african-american, part of the community he is sayi saying community says you are
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genetically stupid and the failings in your community had nothing to do with history and everything to do with you. and to know america's favorite speech was delivered by an african-american is something to be proud of. if you are a patrio patriot th paying homage to the decleration of independence. 20% of the crowd was white. this was the first march in washington, d.c.
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they hoped for a 100,000 and got 250,000. had never been done before. this is the way i describe it in the book. it is the last great act americans can attest to and that was the end of the american apartheid. whatever people say or feel able to say no body who wants to be taken seriously is calling for those signs to go back home. no one is calling for a return of formal separating people. and the amount of racism that is spewing from the mouths of those elected is no small thing. the end of an apartheid is a big thing. it is the last great moral thing
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america can claim to have done. there is that. but there is something else. when king delivers the speech, there is an even number of americans with favorable and unfavorable view of them. he is dead in '69 after being assassinated. by 1999, when americans were polled on who their favorite charters, king is second only to mother teresa. something happens to when he is assassinated and 1999. and this is what i think happened. why does he become unpopular first of all? when the speech is delivered, the year after the is civil right act and then the voting right act. legislation is starting to quick
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in. and king understands the end of separating people isn't the same as equality. we have won the right to eat in any restaurant of our choice, but we don't have the ability to eat everything on the menu because we cannot afford it. so he talks about what is necessary and i want to read this bit of where do we go from here. it says there are 40 million poor people here and one day we must ask the question why are there 40 million poor people in america. when you begin to ask that question you are raising questions about the economic system and a broader distribution of wealth. when you ask that you begin to question the capitalistic economy. we have to ask questions about the whole society. we are called upon to help the
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beggars but we must come to see this needs restructured. you begin to ask who owns the oil. who owns the iron? you begin to ask why do people have to pay water bills in a word that is 2/3rds water? that kind of talk will get you killed and sure enough a year later he is killed. he talks about capitalism and in '67 at the riverside church he calls america the greatest prevailing of military violence and takes a stand against the vietnam war. now, how is america then going to remember king? well it can't remember him if is
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going to raise him to iconic status and put him on the mole. it has to sanitize him for public consumption. it has to make him the person that is second to mother teresa and you cannot do that with a man in america who questions capitalism. remembering king in that way doesn't raise him above the fray, it would enter him into it. that is what the shutdown was about. they just cut people's food stamps. it doesn't work unless what it takes to be an american icon changes. you cannot remember him like that. the power that be that call america the greatest prevailer of military violence today. it still is. it was noted on the 50th
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anniversary of the speech. there was a bomber on one screen cloaking themselves in his legacy and on the other screen will be bomb syria? when will be bomb them? why wouldn't we? you cannot remember king as that. having him on the mall and still claim him to be an american icon who he is spaek -- speaking about military being the greatest military violence starter.
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they have no choice. when it comes to king and his speech, one of the central arguments this this book is not it's also about what you forget. [applause] >> good evening. before i get started, i want to
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send a special shout-out to the second u.s. court of appeals for reminding us that the work ain't over. i would like them to know we will win. i grew up in a mixed household. my introduction to malcolm x was probably four or five and my father who favors malcolm x portrayed him in a black history month special play or some sort. there was malcolm x literature all over the household. i still have, on my night stand, right now, a copy of the auto biography my father had "broken and tired." i grew up post public enemy my father had several x hats and t-shirts.
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say that to say that dr. king is not a part of my foundation, i don't have any particular attachment or evens or didn't have because i rejected him. i accepted the binary idea that you either chooses malcom omar tin. i just don't have much contact with martin luther king, jr. we had a picture of him in our house, like most black americans do. you'll find malcolm x, martin luther king, and jesus, and now barack obama. actually, the barbershop i used to go there are only three pictures on the wall. they are martin luther king, jr., malcolm x and barack
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obama. ours was malcom in the center and then martin luther king. i don't have a lot of emotional pull to the legacy of dr. king. i realized it's not entirely my fault, you know. i didn't even grow up celebrating martin luther king, jr. holiday. i grew up in virginia. in virginia, we had lee jackson king day. where we celebrated robert e lee, stone wall jackson, and martin luther king, jr. on the same day. >> big day. >> right. [laughter] >> week. >> it lasted until the year 2000. [laughter] they celebrated lee, jackson, king day until the year 2000. it goes to what gary was speaking about. how can you do that?
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how can you lump martin luther king, jr. in with robert e. lee and stone wall jackson? you depoliticize him. you rob him of the words he spoke and wrote and the fought he fight during his lifetime. you can do whatever you want him. but martin luther king is not alone in this. we depoliticize everyone. we depoliticize american history. when your country is arrogant as the united states to claim that you are the greatest nation on the face of the earth, in history, you need a history are in tiff of history to match that claim. and so everything becomes depoliticized and everything becomes a symbol of american -- so this is why you can have people on both the right and the left praising both fdr and ronald reagan and not see the inconsistencies of, you know,
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that. they're not political figures anymore. they are symbols. they represent the greatness of the united states of america. that's what king has come to represent even as he was fighting against pretty much everything america stands for. but, i mean, we can look at the march on washington itself that brought the dream speech. we know the full name of the march on washington. it's the march on washington for jobs and freedom. you can't talk about and commemorate it for jobs and freedom if you don't want to talk about freedom means when you're in a country that incarcerates more than 2 million people. you can just the march on washington. you can't talk to -- you can't commemorate a man who, as gary was saying, talked about america as the greatest riff area ya of violence
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internationally and wage perpetual war. you can't do that. you can't talk about martin luther king, jr. in a statute in his memory and this man stood against police brutality and every 28 hours in this country a black person shot is killed and by police, security, or some vigilantty. you can't but if you reduce it to a dream. with the dream is so -- such a blanking slate you can project whatever you want to. it's not cirng's fault. he was delivering a speech he needed to deliver at the time. with the problem with our understanding of race and racism in america being confined to the one moment and one idea of having a dream that little black -- don't deal with racism is.
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we don't deal with the fact that governing philosophy for the united states of america since the inception has been white supreme sei. we don't have to deal with it because, you know, all we had was a dream it would be nice to one another. so what i appreciate about gary's book and, you know, also gene's book abouts are is a parks. we are rescuing these figures and legacy from american exceptionalism. [applause] [applause] one place i thought we could start and both of you touched offense the kind of with a we saw in august around the 50th anniversary commemoration. both of you have written about this. i think both of you just touched on with a became a kind of self--- a national self-congratulation that we saw in august.
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if you can kind of apiece that out a little bit more. >> yeah. i mean, it was a show. there's a part of me that thinks it's the 50th anniversary. there should be a commemoration. but then the show has to mean something. what the show cannot do is -- the original meaning of what happened. interestingly in the run up to the they kept making concession. and the young people would yell sellout. we have a coalition together. coalition of unions, civil rights leader, church leaders.
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one concession he would not make is politicians should not speak -- they are not to lecture us. what was telling at that, you know, i went to one of them, was, you know, here in nancy pelosi and, i mean, eric holder got 20 minute. and julian gets his nigh con -- and that is not just symbolic. that is real. it tells you something about trajectories. there was -- so there was that. then the other thing i found sponsored by mcdonald m sshes
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sshesnbc. they can a lot of stuff on the speech. and bank of america. kicking people out of their home since 1933. looking bard to that being on -- [inaudible] and they kept saying again and again we have come a long way. but we have further to go. and you think, well, who should we look to for that? you're the president. you're the leader. do something about it. there was who would have thought. 50 years after the march on washington the discrepancies between black and white unemployment is the same. the discrepancy between black and white incarceration has grown. there are more people in prison now than when the soviet gulag at the height. and these people are like what are you going do? what are you going do.
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i would like to know what you're going do. and the degree to which there's a sense of powerlessness among the powerful. one interesting thing i saw was visually the number of the main -- not poor but t-shirt or whatever you saw on the march was trayvon martin. there was an interesting variation which is obama in a hoodie. which was the sense i got that, you know, i don't think george zimmerman saw trayvon martin thought there goes the future president of america. i found interesting that's where people -- i saw more pictures of trartd than i did of martin luther king. >> we had two marches.
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we had two commemorations. the one lead by the research al sharpton, i have immense respect for. i do, but it was telling to me that a young johnson from chicago, who is, you know, the young education activist was taken off the stage. because it's telling because as much as we talk about youth and as much as we want our youth involved and to see youth movement. we're taking the mic away from them. we're taking them out of the fight. and that, to me, was the theme of al sharpton's march essentially was that, you know, it was his coronation as the single most powerful civil rights leader in the united states at the moment.
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at the very least philip agnew got to speak at the chemoration, which he did not at the official one. he and sophia were told they were not going to get their two minutes of peace because they ran out of time. and that -- this was the real fairs on washington. it was a farce on washington. it was not about movement. this was not about the actual lived experiences of black and brown oppressed people in this country. it's not about finding solutions. this is about america paght i.t. on the back for how far we've come. and if we look at this statistics that gary young has rattled off, how far have we come? tell me, please, i would like to know.
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if you'll indulge isled like to quote a rapper. we start keeping pace you start change up the tempo. what are we posed to do when every turn you introduce new forms of racism. you change the game up completely. it doesn't look anymore like white only. looks like being locked up for a dime bag of weed. this is the new fight. in is the new way they've chosen to oppress. so what are the solutions? we don't get any at this commemoration. it was not about movement. i don't have time for that. >> right. i want us to talk about the image of the split screen. just to bring in my -- i like to bring everything back to rosa parks. in the february we got the statute. you may remember it's a odd
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moment of bipartisan; right. mcconnell, you know, boehner, nancy pelosi and the president; right, come to the capitol to, you know, honor the very first statute a black person in the capitol, and barack obama went said we need more than that. right. here we are barack obama is the the president of 2013 we need more than lot ofy word. literally across town that day they're honoring that statute they're talking about what a great nation, what a vision, what a people, what a country across town the supreme court is hearing the votes righting act to challenge literally across town and president obama ends the day and he talks about her singular act of courage. the president of the united states who could do more than lot ofy words said that was what it meant to honor rose is a parks when she died. has that opportunity, and again,
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gives us lefty words. i want to talk about the split screen. i think america has a ability far -- far more potent ability -- [inaudible] to discharge the past and travel light from its history. britain slips in to the past like an old man. he surrounds himself with it and likes the idea. and it's, you know, kind of like a, you know, -- [inaudible] kind of pretty disgusting. [laughter] people are comfortable with it. some people said like, you know, people suddenly say this is a
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great putting the great back in to great britain. what happened to -- hold on genocide, hold on war. you don't want to talk about that. look at the lovely castles. and where as america has a ability to even though the march was talking place. america was reinventing itself and saying there was a group whatever the prop propaganda that works with the state department. they were filming the marches to make a little program to send to africa about american democracy at work. using the march on washington. a march for democracy, a march by people who had just been horsed with and beaten and hosed to say what a great country this
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is. it's kind of like rewrite history while the ink is drink. it's not drink on the first draft. there is this uncanny ability here. in a way i haven't seen in other places. to deny what is right. what is on the other screen. to have a sense behalf is going on. you see from barack obama's election that african-americans are getting -- then you just quote almost any statistic that shows actually coincided with the large what that moons with racism is a
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desire that was explicitly stated in the arguments. either that day or braf where the person arguing to get the voting rights act said it's a problem that have been soft the problem han solved and that racism becomes signs becomes only the systemic you need jim crow, senior, with by pushing paper around in a certain way and by locking people up in a certain way.
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this was a sense that the systemic is a lot easier to understand and to see and a lot easier to portray. people are more comfortable with it. the systemic once you put it there, you have to pull it capitalism, you pull it the entire way which is michael said america has been structured. and the way in which it operates. and i was going to say no one. i think -- actually it's not true. but those who own the screens don't want to show the screen. it's not in their interest to show their screen. >> what gary said. [laughter] [applause] i think we're going to take some questions. i guess before we take a question, sugar i are i've heard you talk about this.
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important to the rhetorical presence? >> i want to back up, also, something that michael said. i grew up largely in a caribbean family. i grew up with a more affinity toward what i saw malcolm x and king was. i don't really like bob marley. you ruined it for me.
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it took me to be outside that context. there's a moment where king talks about america has issued the negro a bad check. we have come cash the check that was marked insufficient funds. if you understand it, as a bad check speech. it brings the issues up to date in a dream which was a vision, a utopian vision. i like it because it's utopian does not. when are you going to -- no one can walk around the jail and the school and say america has honored that change. the metaphor is with the decoration of independence, i
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think, it does different things how to the speech can be remember. not just as cue -- can't we all get along. there has to be a specifically talking about reparations here. but like there has to be a redistribution of wealth. there has to be -- so you to make good on what you say it mean to mean america. you haven't done that yet. that is a different way of understanding the speech. also by 200 years ago, and talk about legacy of slavery and segregation in a way that makes it very clear there is more to
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freedom than breaking of chains. there is more e i nears the fact that racism has a legacy. the president has consequences. you talk about syria and you say what about the bombing of iraq. it is still going on. you talk about the failure in
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afghanistan. they say just because the last one doesn't work doesn't mean this one can. that's not over. they're still fighting the war. think about what you are doing. there are a range of ways ways in which that speech is even on its own terms it was not a radical speech. >> i was going to ask if get it to be called the bad check speech does that mean i get my reformation check. [laughter] >> you see -- >> yeah. [laughter] oh, no. my fantasy is the white moderate speech. my favorite passage from king is
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that passage. and letter from birmingham jail he talks about the greatest numbing is not the clan but white moderate who prefers order to justice who feels he can set time table for another man's freedom. who says to wait; right. if we are that king, right, the work is not done; right. >>, i mean, in relation to that, there is this interesting, i think, way of understanding it. if you think of how unpopular king was when he died, then you look at other people things are unpopular now. how king shifts from being second to -- unpopular. then it's a kind of useful way of understanding who are we excluding at this moment.
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what issues, what characteristic what platform are we deciding. it's going to be so obviously. barning of america will understand it. when he gives the speech "the new york times" runs a bit the next day with the headline dr. king's error. "the washington post runs an arm; right. only 25% of african-americans agree with king after that speech. doesn't even get us to white americans. right. right, like, right, the degree of unpopular, i think, we forget, and, like, gary is saying, right, the next for us to reflect on who is unpopular and what that message may mean for where we need to go.
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>>, i mean, we reflect on who is popular in the same way, i mean, what is going to happen with barack obama. what is going happen with the way we remember his legacy? we're going again congratulate ourselves for electing the first black president and re-electing him. but we're not going remember his legacy in any way that i feel is accurate as to what he's accomplished and what has he accomplished? we're talking about health care a republican idea. a boom to insurance companies. we're talking about the continuation of sin the wars that were started is during the bush years. and, you know, ingraining, again, this mind set of perpetual war and using drones and expanding that warfare. i mean, we're talking about, you know, again mass incarceration.
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we're talking about that in the, i mean, his administration has fought the war. continued to fight the war on drugs in much the same way other administrations have fowghtd it. even though they don't call it war on drugs. are we going to remember these things? are we going, again, exhalt someone because of what we can find to, you know, further the narrative of american exceptionalism and not reckon with their actual legacy. >> one, i think, particularly -- i hope my book is about is trying to -- i think those are open contests we're involved in that we should be involved in. ..
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i brought my kind of 45 seconds of talking, and then the woman is wrapping up and she said, barack obama. think you very much. and it is of, like war
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sometimes. but you have said -- you know, you have to try. >> let me read our first question. the special rights if the dream was ejected metaphor for the end of apartheid would constitute a use of metaphor for the end of contemporary supremacy and then the second question, what is to this up for resolution -- revolutionary statements like i have a dream. >> the question is, can i come up with a therefore. given the weight has been first appropriated, i mean, it was not
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bad for use, it was not remembered. it was -- and i do think that the state that we are in, globalization systemic as opposed to systematic more systemic as opposed to systematic does not lend itself to metaphors. that has been a lot of our challenges. at the offer while it was not about race, but it captures the sense.
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even that was not entirely, you know, entirely adequate. yeah. i come benzedrine. >> anonymous will be around for the end of white supremacy. the fis casey slogans go, the only one and i will endorse, and i'm going back to the dream again, i love the work that they're doing, they just say over and over again, i believe that we will win. that's it.
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given how unlikely it was, so many points, but i think that it is very difficult to imagine what the end of white supremacy would look like actually. and that does not mean that it is now worth trying. what i like naturally is the utopian nature. within ten days for the liberals had been killed in birmingham. and then there is this guy. he did not get up and say i have a ten. plan, you know, it was like we can do better. we can do better. this is not all we have to be, but we're not even -- we have not even reached the point of his dream yet. so kind of going home to like what the next room would be. let's wake up this. >> over and over again, a letter
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from him, and many of his letters, we just talk about time it really talks against this idea that this is get better and better and progress of progress. i think we forget this part of kang min says time is neutral. you know, for time -- for things to get better requires a staff. and this idea that if we just, you know, be patient and be quiet that america or the world this is getting better over and over is a myth and that the voice of opposition are better. so i think a minor know, reading the letter again this week. we have a question here that says, are there any other famous historical figures are critical of capitalism and who have been the politicize?
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>> in america -- >> it does not say so, but think that maybe the implication. i don't know. >> i would look. nope. can i find a friend. >> i do think that theme is really taken out of how we talk about the movement says. >> go head. you are my friend. >> are you serious? [inaudible question] >> it is for the tv. >> the vw be. with regards to and not being through the mainstream. >> right.
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w. b. boyce, he dies on the day of the march. there was @booktv for those of you don't know, very late in his life. and welcome, the naacp a philip randolph at a cinco will you readout, commemorate. and he says no because he was a communist. and it is only when rendell says if you don't i am going to, and i will take a pitch time. kind of does agree. there are people who have forgotten. rosa parks certainly misremembered. i don't know what her addition
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-- initial is, but i do know that she was not, when asked about her position in relation to malcolm she was like, i could never get more violent. i was always much more liberal, mountains strategy. she could not. she was never -- she could never quite that tells herself it was
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a struggle that was very much lending racial injustice of the eastern shore of maryland with economic justice richardson, like the other women on the day is that they did not get to speak. there is an amazing interview. the week of the march commemoration, sort of where she talks about what they were doing in cambridge and also literally sort of being recognized that day on the dais and getting the microphone taken away from her. but i do think that richardson is emblematic of many local
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civil rights leaders are black freedom struggle leaders to work -- who always had a kind of core of economic justice, and that think what we tend to remember is the public. that was certainly part of the struggle, but that there are all of these other economic struggles woven through that. and so again, blair richardson would be one that i would put out there. >> a critique of capitalism. once he was in power. a big mistake. it was also a different world, one that i would not have liked the taken over as an african. but to you know, the freedom charter was from mass nationalization. a whole range of things.
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and while mandela committee said his favorite form of democracy ifs economically he was a socialist. the socialist. in the association. so mandela would be another one. understood as a nice old man. >> is agreed that malcolm x obviously had a critique of capitalism, but they have to want to remember you. >> we have a live same question. this person adds, is still a generation who remembers the plight of all these leaders to the academy is still?
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>> how do you instill interest in young people to want to learn history? you have to relate to them. it has to be tangible and it has to mean something to your presence. as we find with a lot of use activism today. they're tied to and understand history which is why they're on the streets. first they also understand that fight did not complete the struggle. they have a responsibility to take up that mantle now. it simply is because someone
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along the way express that to them, and someone, you know, when they put that copy in their hands they were like, this is your history, this is who you are, this is how you got here. i mean every one of the people of like how do we do this with the use. have you ever just tried talking to them? they're not aliens says that to not understand the way you speak . they're intelligent beings. you can talk to young people. >> i find people they're receptive. they are alive because it was not that long ago. mid not that long. their lawns and of segregation and what not.
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i can point into his grand mother. walking around. this is living history. and really young people are not kind of -- i think they have a very keen interest, and there are two reasons i think why fix the way in which it is presented to them can be counted upon. you have your campaign down. >> then we get arrested. [applause] >> and so there is this sense that history is being used as a stake to begin people with. in a sense they are not worthy of the history.
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secondly, if he tell this jury as a series of stories about great men and the crazily a great woman the nikkei recent. becomes another version which was the point of that. these are ordinary people, 6-year-old kids, people whose names you do not know in order for came to deliver that speech they have to be in march. north it's in the march to have to be 14,000 in ten weeks. that's a lot of people. that person could be you. you could be part of what makes the speech. since it is an ego thing that's a different thing had that
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speech happened. happened because people made it happen. and so it does depend upon how you tell history. and the most revolution, social and political revolutions actually led by the hon. and so there are very few stories regardless of where it is temecula, russia, germany, whenever, where your people are from. birmingham changes everything. even people. and so the making history accessible, not an easy words, but something that you can take ownership of. otherwise just because one more thing after another about clever people they will never be like.
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>> seem so much more so regal. >> unified. >> franklin mccain. one of the young people in greensboro. to go back into think, okay, i have three friends. that is what they are. their friends. >> go back to rosa parks. kicked off the bus before rosa parks to pleads not guilty and they start to go with. and then she is pregnant and then dropper. they just dropper. and they don't just upper from a
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protest which is a strategic question or more a question was the test is going to be. me and we knew we insert what you're saying is you're a single mom. this is what happens. a 15 year-old girl. this is not just what can happen to you, but she made a stand. there is another person. and when they file the federal case that he's a race montgomery fas : smith and two other women, not on that case because they're
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worried it would muddy the waters but also because it's as long as the acp. filed by four women, two of which are teenagers. >> and in fact if rosa parks is understood as part of the collective action where she makes her protests and then for 13 months people walk to work, but people from montgomery walk to work the bell which did not really mean much. then you are involving large numbers of young people, lots of single mothers, lots of working-class people like you who made them stand or as if the only an extended as there was this lady can see get tired, she did not want to stand out, she sat down. that is the story of rosa parks.
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the this is the first of all, wow, what individual person. she would not have been so tired. maybe she would have stood up. this is one person in one moment. tsk you reason to the women in this fight. what helped launch this is a sexual violence that these women were experiencing on the buses. what happens when you tell little girls that come until little boys that, you shift the whole narrative. that is, flintridge talking about how we relate history tea and people you tell them the story and you tell them the
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actual story and you don't give them platitudes to me talk to them as human beings and give them the truth. >> and the thing to talk about how hard it is. to me one of the other -- then again come every school's out that learns of rosa parks is courageous. they've done these things over and over again before and it did not work. nothing to believe that night when she made that decision that this would work, and she does not believe it. she talks about. irritating and annoying like she is not see this as a new chapter. so i think will we tell the story, she says stan and everyone stands up. no one stands up when injustice. it feels like we are not unified today. a recent today. and when we tell it as she had done it over and over the
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requires long seasons over does not like anything is changing the facts that we choose offs the rubicon, the river. it's about what happens in that moment that makes that a fact of history as opposed to post the of the changes widely understand
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speech in l.a. a complete in terms of expectations because the expectation is that i make my protest and the world did not change. the world did not change. there were many of us. made my contest. major things happened. firs. >> john lewis is still out there getting arrested. always someone desired to be attacked him.
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that had gone wrong. deeply unlikely that king would return today, the school's, the other institutions, the food banks in the unemployment lines, my work here was done. i think the question, who would be marching with them, who would be marching. >> eight days after 9/11 a number of other civil rights
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leaders would have a statement working for the international kennedy. to gary's point, is now many of us knew that. first civilian to every this state funeral. that part of it somehow falls out. >> as a history is not an
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objective process. in order to craft certain kinds of memory. those have never settled if they can't forgive you, i got as they try it is not as though was a foregone conclusion. if they can't forget you then they will kill you with the kindness of the memory. it would give you a stamp. they will decay five you in a way that extracts all of the meeting that made you meaningful and this, because it is an ongoing presence, it's an ongoing challenge, and it is not
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a challenge that i feel is a foregone conclusion. i think that these struggles that we can actually -- i don't know if he ever quite when then, but they have traction because they have relevance. as much as people like to travel light with a look around. >> to the point about the stamps , most of my heroes don't appear on those stamps.
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>> thank you. citing bucks. >> yes. then me. >> thank you. >> for more affirmation visit the out this website. here's a lookism books being published this week. information and technology professor at massachusetts institute of technology
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historian taylor branch presents his book became years. [applause] >> thank you, jeffrey all of u.s. citizens and an equal share of this country devoted to the idea of equal citizenship and that we should aspire to the model of the civil-rights era. advance freedom and democracy by studying the basic principles and taking risks to make a real.


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